Increasing recourse to neighbouring rights for the protection of various subject matters, including press publishing and sport events, reveals that the underlying basic concepts are rather vague. This chapter sets out to look first at the distinctive features of neighbouring rights, inquiring in particular as to which achievements reward those rights. The European proposal of a new neighbouring right for press publishers serves as a case study. The issue of protection of news items has been addressed at the international level, where the matter has been hitherto excluded from the scope of IP law. In addition, concrete aspects of the proposed legislation will be considered, focusing on the indeterminacy of the subject matter of protection. While concluding for the inadequacy of the proposed neighbouring right, an alternative holistic approach will be identified.
The European Commission proposal for new copyright related rights for press publishers comes in the wake of a general trend of creating new 'neighbouring rights'. Article 11 of the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market – widely criticized for various reasons in the literature – reflects the lack of solid dogmatic foundation in dealing with neighbouring rights.